Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, hailed as one of the greatest food writers of his generation, died Saturday of pancreatic cancer at age 57.

Gold’s wife — Los Angeles Times arts and entertainment editor Laurie Ochoa — told the paper Gold died at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early July.

The son of a probation officer and a high school librarian, Gold studied art and music at UCLA and held a number of jobs before landing a writing gig with the L.A. Weekly, while also freelancing for publications including Spin, Rolling Stone and The Times, the paper reported.

At L.A. Weekly, he wrote about music, art, theater, movies and food, and in his free time he played in punk rock bands. That hobby fed his talent for music writing, and he wrote about the rise of gangsta rap, hip-hop and grunge in the 1980s, according to The Times.

“I’d show up to the studio and everybody’s nervous about being interviewed, so I’d just kind of hang out all day. Then you just come back the next day and you’re in the studio like it’s no big deal. And eventually, they’re talking to you,” Gold said in a 2012 interview.

Gold and Ochoa met in 1984 while both were working at L.A. Weekly. They have two children, 23-year-old Isabel and 15-year-old Leon, according to The Times.

He left the Weekly in 1999, taking a job as a restaurant critic in New York, where Ochoa had gotten an executive editor job at Gourmet, The Times reported. But the pair returned to Los Angeles when Ochoa became editor in chief of L.A. Weekly and he returned as its restaurant critic.

Gold won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2007 while working with the Weekly. He was the first restaurant critic ever to be so honored, and remains the only one to ever win the Pulitzer. According to The Times, the judges praised his “zestful, wide-ranging restaurant reviews, expressing the delight of an erudite eater.”

Gold left the Weekly six years ago to work at The Times.

“Jonathan’s humanity came through in his writing and in his many public appearances,” The Times’ owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong told the paper. “His death is heartbreaking — an incalculable loss to all who knew him and loved his work.”

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